Kevin Harvick rolled into Sin City on the heels of a dominating performance the week prior in Atlanta. Entering the weekend, the big question was, could he parlay that momentum into the first leg of a 3 race west coast swing. The simple answer, hell yeah!
Harvick led 214 laps at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sunday to win the Pennzoil 400 with only nine cars finishing on the lead lap.
During his post-race interview in victory lane, he said, “As you look at the last two weeks and our 1.5-mile program in general it has been really good since I started here at SHR. They put a lot of effort into everything we do from every standpoint to get these cars going like they are. I have to thank everyone from Stewart-Haas Racing, Gene and Tony, it is fun to have them here when we win.”
Harvick’s Ford teammate Ryan Blaney, was on the pole to start the race, and would win the first stage. By the end of the first 80 lap segment, 21 of 36 drivers were at least 1 lap down. Blaney continued to have fine day and held on the win the second stage as well.
From there, Kevin Harvick showed his Monster Energy Cup Series Champion pedigree on 1.5 mile ovals.
The win for the veteran marked his 100th career victory across NASCAR’s top three series.
Season of Change
Change is coming. Slowly, but surely, doors are opening. Opportunities are presenting themselves. And a demographically diverse group of young drivers is making waves throughout the world of stock car racing.
Back in October 2017, Richard Petty Motorsports announced Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. as the new driver of the No. 43 car made famous by team co-owner, “The King” Richard Petty. He will compete full-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and is eligible to compete for the Sunoco Rookie of The Year during the 2018 season.
Wallace, along with drivers like Daniel Suarez of Mexico, and female tire changer Brehanna Daniels are benefactors of NASCAR’s diversity program.
It’s good to see signs of hope and promise for young, culturally diverse talent to finally get their shot, and open the eyes of many who follow stock car racing.
Weekend Photo Gallery: all photos by Kevin C Cox/ CORE360 Sports